I adore Tex-Mex food and I could eat it every night–even without a margarita. Not long ago the Washington Post published a recipe they called “Enchiladas with Chili Gravy” with a picture that made me drool.
The WaPo recipe is a little complicated and involves making your own chili powder, so I was a sucker for the quicker New York Times version here. Their picture is equally enticing. Perhaps the WaPo recipe makes a more authentic and tastier dish, but I do not see how it could be any better than this one, from Sam Sifton.
Velveeta was not really meant to be grated, yet I must admit that it is pretty important in this dish. At least get it into smallish pieces before mixing with the cheddar.
Of course you can add ingredients to the enchiladas such as shredded cooked chicken or cooked ground beef.
¼ cup neutral oil, like canola
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano, ideally Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth or even water
½ cup neutral oil, like canola
12 yellow corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 cups grated (?) Velveeta
1 medium-size white onion, peeled and chopped
Prepare the chili gravy
In a medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat, heat oil until it begins to shimmer. Whisk in flour and stir continuously until it turns into a light brown roux, roughly the color of coffee ice cream, about 10 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, oregano and chile powder and whisk to combine, then continue whisking for another minute or so, until roux becomes fragrant.
Add chicken broth, slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until sauce begins to thicken. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer an additional 15 minutes or so. Add broth as needed to adjust the thickness of the gravy. Keep warm.
Heat oven to 450°F.
In a medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat, heat oil until it begins to shimmer. Using tongs or a wide spatula, place a tortilla in the hot fat; it should start to bubble immediately. Heat tortilla for about 10 to 15 seconds a side, until soft and lightly browned. Remove tortilla and set on a rack set over a baking pan, or just on a baking pan if you don’t have a rack. Repeat with remaining tortillas, working quickly.
Using a ladle, put about 1/2 cup chili gravy in the bottom of an 9-by-13-inch baking pan and spread it out a little. Roll a few tablespoons of cheese into each tortilla, then place it seam-side down in the pan, nestling each one against the last. Ladle chili gravy over the top of the rolled tortillas and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
Transfer to oven and bake until sauce bubbles and cheese is melted, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped onions over top and serve immediately.